My Ink Dance

Discovering Extraordinary Grace in an Ordinary Life

I Abuse Grace

I have this friend. I know that sounds like a euphemism. But really it is a friend. I think.
Image credit: theodysseyonline.com

Image credit: theodysseyonline.com

 

She is that person who is always in trouble. Always sick. Always something going on. And when I talk to her, no matter what I say it always comes back around to her. And her problems.

She’s not so much a friend, but a taker. And I’m torn.I try to find some invisible line. I know boundaries are important, for me and for her. But recognizing them is hard. Sometimes it feels like she abuses my grace. And sometimes I’m tired of feeling.

I want to be a person of love and grace. But sometimes it’s exhausting. It doesn’t seem fair. I give and give. I am the sounding board and the prayer partner. I give great advice. And I think we’ve moved past the urgent and now, maybe now, we can have a real friendship. A give and take of love and grace.

But then she disappears. Sometimes its days, sometimes it’s months. But she’s gone and now when I’m going through my stuff, I find myself facing the wrong way on a one way street. I keep going, moving through life until suddenly she’s back. And she needs something again.

I understand she’s famished. She’s in the desert with no food or water and she’s parched. And for some reason she sees that I have food and water, even when it feels like I’m starving.

But she’s back, and I have no idea what to do, what to say. I’m weary and I’m searching for these invisible boundaries that keep me on the side of being a good Christian. I feel abused and battered. How can I possibly keep giving and how can she keep taking?

It’s not fair.

But grace isn’t fair. How do I know? Well, because I don’t deserve more, but God keeps giving it.

You see, I abuse grace.

I go through life in my own strength for days, weeks, months until something bad happens. When I get to that point, my own strength isn’t cutting it and I need something more, someone more. So I go to God.

I wonder about the last time I was there, coming to Him. I think it was when someone was sick or maybe when the car wouldn’t start. I can’t even remember. But I come back begging, pleading. And He hands me this beautifully wrapped gift with such tenderness. I grab it and rip it open. I devour it. Say thanks (maybe) and turn and walk away. He won’t see me again until something else happens.

So maybe this isn’t about my friend after all. No, this is about me. But it’s about so much more than that.

God will never run out of grace.

 

Because here’s the secret that sets these stories apart. God will never run out of grace. He won’t get frustrated and stop answering my calls. He won’t unfriend me or tell everyone all the things I’ve done. He’ll be there. Waiting in full expectation. Whenever I need him. Whenever I choose Him. He’ll be there with another beautifully wrapped package just for me.

Because that’s the gift of grace. It is not earned or deserved. It is not about whether you make it onto the nice list or how many presents are left in a great big bag. No, it is endless.

I abuse grace, but He gives it anyway.

This isn’t about being better, doing more, or figuring it out. This is just a simply beautiful reminder that even if I abuse grace, He is there giving it anyway.


Linking up great words of hope today!

kristin hill taylor
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susan mead

About Becky Hastings

I am emotional and logical. I am strong and dependent. I am a juxtaposition of head and heart exploring it all through writing. And in all my mixed-up ways I am loved. I’m here to tell you that you are, too. Just the way you are.

8 Replies

  1. God will never run out of grace! I love it… Visiting from 3 word Wednesday.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Thanks for visiting today!

  2. I struggle to understand the line between healthy boundaries and endless grace. I’m thankful God offers a never-ending supply! Good food for thought here. Thank you!

    1. Becky Hastings

      Thanks Traci!

  3. Someone once told me that there is a fine line between walking alongside someone who is burdened and bearing their burden myself. God is an expert at bearing burdens and I’ve often found that if I bear someone’s load then they begin to depend on me instead of Him.

    But, those lines are hard and blurry, and friendship can be tough stuff in muddy waters – which is why He is God and I am not. So, so, so grateful that that grace supply never runs dry and that even when we can’t figure out the intricacies, He keeps teaching us. So glad to visit from #threewordwednesday.

    1. Becky Hastings

      You are so right that God keeps teaching us! Another manifestation of His grace. So glad you visited today!

  4. Oh, yes, me too, Becky. I’m so grateful God doesn’t run out of grace or the desire to share it with us. I’m glad you linked up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Thank you Kristin!

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